It's been another successful season for the St. Norbert College baseball team in DePere, Wisconsin. Four Green Knights are from Escanaba, and they have made a difference on the squad.
Trevin Hillesheim was apprehensive before his final start at Mel Nick's field for Saint Norbert College.
"I had kind of a moment there when I walked out to the mound; knew it was going to be my last time doing it. I still got to go do the job. Yeah, it's cold today, tough to throw on days like this. But growing up in the U.P., you get used to it playing ball up there, but I got by. I've improved a lot. It's not hard to improve. Coaches are real good down here, work with you, work with the little stuff a lot," said Escanaba native, Trevin Hillesheim.
Brother Chris adds, "He's kind of one of the leaders of the team. You always look up to him if you need help with something. It's always nice to have someone there to look up to, too. It's a lot different from high school. People think it's going to be the same, but the pace is a lot faster, coaching styles are different...tough to get used to."
The Upper Peninsula players usually make make up three-quarters of the infield with Negaunee's Tony Jandron at short, Escanaba's Garrick Fisher at third, and Escanaba's Ryan Way at first base.
"We're out here every day, just like any other college team, doing everything, running. We do a lot of running here. At first it was different, but I'm getting adjusted to it, so it's nice," added fellow former Eskimo, Ryan Way.
Team member, Garrick Fisher, says, "It's not too far away from home. My parents can come watch when they want. It's nice and relaxing down here. I have family down here, so it's really nice."
Coach Tom Winske tells us, "At times we have five of our nine starters, counting the designated hitter, that are from the U.P. Those guys have come in and done a fantastic job from Escanaba. They play great ball up there, good Legion program, good high school program. We've been very fortunate to get the kids down here. They've contributed every year for us."
Players are required to help maintain the field. That includes 77-year-old Menominee native Dick Zeratsky, who's an assistant coach with the Green Knights. Saint Norbert opens play in the Midwest Conference Tournament against Illinois College at Grinnell, Iowa.